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The Battles Ahead — 4 Comments

  1. The apostles’ response to opposition in early Acts – were loaded with “who YOU crucified” giving no room for those opposing them to become “less hostile” to this new (Christian) sect, that appeared to them to be a threat. 

    Watch Paul by contrast turned a room of religious opponents around in the same chapter after he withdrew his pigsty remark, simply by a few well-chosen words that aligned him with some of his opponents.

    “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.”
    7 And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. 9 Then a great clamor arose, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees’ party stood up and contended sharply, “We find nothing wrong in this man. What if a spirit or an angel spoke to him?”

    ACTS 23

    • Peter was surely speaking by the the Holy Spirit when he used the phrase “whom you crucified” in Acts 2:36, since the following two verses state
      “Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
      Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

      I would rather be confronted with the truth about my sin, as a necessary step towards a real salvation, than to hear a modern preacher talking about “making mistakes” – a vague term that is equally used for making errors in arithmetic. 

      The first apostles regarded being persecuted as par for the course – and even rejoiced that that they were worthy to suffer shame for Christ [Acts 5:41] – and not as something to be avoided through diplomacy.

  2. Some might dare to say that the Lord Himself, when talking to the Pharisees, was undiplomatic, and yet He said in John 12:49, according to the New Living Translation,
    “I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it”,
    and I emphasise “how to say it”.  I cannot see that the first apostles were any more “undiplomatic”; and, later, Paul, if anything, was more so when he called the high priest a “white-washed wall”, saying that God would strike him.

    Peter also said, “and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” [1 Peter 3:15]
    I would suggest that there is a difference between meek and being diplomatic, and that the uncompromised gospel message is intrinsically undiplomatic, and is even described as an “offense”, since it hurts human pride by drawing attention to the existence of sin and the need for repentance.

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